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The Problem Hallway

February 19, 2013

Readers – Did any of you watch that TV show “Trading Spaces”? It was is (I just found out that this show is still on) a show about 2 neighbors who swapped houses for 2 days and completely re-did a room with the help of an interior decorator. Besides the occasionally bizarre outcomes (walls covered in felt? Leather couches re-painted?), what I remember best was that most of the people were living in houses that looked un-touched by their personalities. White walls, beige carpet, no art, random pieces of furniture scattered through a room. I was horrified.

Flash forward to our current house. The walls aren’t white and we don’t have carpet, but otherwise we haven’t advanced past the unpacking stage. Usually the place is full of sawdust and lumber since Mr. B is building our closets. There really is no interior decorating going on round these parts. It isn’t that big a deal because just being in the house is still amazing, but I do think about it from time to time. What really brought it to the forefront of my brain was looking at this hallway:

photo (58)

This runs between the great room and the west side of our house, so it is our back door. My office/sewing room is off to the left. At some point, we’ll have a patio and back yard area out this door, and it will also probably be the door we use to get to the future barn/cow. In A Pattern Language, you are encouraged to make hallways more than mere passage ways – instead, they should be little rooms in their own right. We mostly avoided this by having no hallways in the house except this one,  and it really is an afterthought. A design necessity. It is only 6 feet wide, so no one is going to be hanging around in here. It needs to be somewhat functional since it is the transition between inside/outside (coats, shoes, a place to put down a pitcher of lemonade), but it isn’t hidden enough to really count as a mudroom (it is open to the living room). It is more of a private/family area than the entry way though, since you have to go through the entire house to get there, and there is the more public south side of the house (sliding door that opens off the great room).

I’m not really sure what to do with this room. I’ve been thinking about doing something with the walls (maybe this stencil?). We don’t really have pictures of ourselves, but it could be a nice place to have a row of fun memory shots. Maybe a wall mounted coat rack? Any ideas?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Mom Jones permalink
    February 19, 2013 10:21 am

    I think the stencil might be too busy unless you make it just a tone lighter that the wall color. And you have trees outside to look at. I liked the background leaf stencil on the website better.

    I think a wall of photos would be great and I’ll bet the family could help by sending you some!

  2. Beth permalink
    February 20, 2013 2:31 pm

    I like the stencil idea, but I think Mom’s right, maybe do it in a bronze or something so that it is more subtle. I remember a purple hallway in your old house that you made a pattern on with silver pen. I have to say, I always loved that hallway.

  3. Krissy S permalink
    April 27, 2013 9:00 pm

    You don’t know me but I met Rita before she moved from Houghton. I just had to comment because I think I know what would be perfect for this space of yours! A door knob coat rack! I made one for our entryway and am so pleased with it. You can use vintage door knobs but when we moved into our house last summer we found that a lot of door knobs had to be replaced so I just used those ones. I also purchased a few from the local Habitat for Humanity Re-store. That is where I got a piece of old dark stained wood trim too.that I used for the wood part of it. It turned out perfectly and only took an hour or two to create. Google “door knob coat rack” for ideas. Good luck with whatever you decide!

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